The J.M. Smucker Company

Folgers, Hostess Brands Inc.
Ohio
Food Beverage and Tobacco

Corprate Bias Ratings

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

The J.M. Smucker Company scored an 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI). By complying with Human Rights Campaign's controversial demands, The J.M. Smucker Company increases the risk of dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The company covers transgender-related medical costs for its employees and their children and provides specific sexual orientation and gender identity-based benefits. It also uses sex and gender ideology criteria in employee recruitment, vendor selection, marketing, and philanthropic support. The J.M. Smucker Company forces employees to undergo multiple ideological trainings and uses its reputation, corporate funds, and political influence to support controversial sex and gender ideologies, organizations, and legislation. The J.M. Smucker Company vets vendors according to LGBTQ policies, is part of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, and does not provide its employees with protections against viewpoint discrimination. However, the company has not publicly fired employees, suppliers, or vendors based on political views or religious beliefs. The company is a corporate partner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and donated to the Equality PAC. It supports the Equality Act and the Respect for Marriage Act, and it prohibits any donations to religiously affiliated charities. J.M. Smucker opposed various state and local legislation intended to protect parental rights, girls’ sports, bathroom facilities, and gendered spaces. For these reasons, The J.M. Smucker Company receives a High Risk rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.

Risk Level
Rationale

The J.M. Smucker Company received a score of 100 on the 2023 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a political stakeholder group. The company recruits employees based on sexual identity issues. The company discriminates against vendors that do not promote divisive sex and gender policies, indicating it prioritizes sexual issues over merit (1)(2). However, the company has not publicly fired employees, suppliers, or vendors based on political views or religious beliefs. The J.M. Smucker Company is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, which aims to demonetize advertisements and suppress content that “vilifies” individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity, discusses “debated social issues in a negative or partisan context” or spreads “hate speech” (3)(4)(5).

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

The J.M. Smucker Company’s HRC CEI rating indicates the company will not donate to non-religious charities unless they embrace controversial sexual identity policies (1)(2). The J.M. Smucker Company will not donate to religious organizations (3).

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

The J.M. Smucker Company HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company forces employees to attend multiple, controversial trainings on gender identity, sexual orientation, transgender issues, and divisive racial ideology. The company provides gender transition guidelines for its employees and a specific benefits guide with a comprehensive explanation of transgender services funded by the company (1)(2). The J.M. Smucker Co. does not provide viewpoint protections for its employees (3).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

The J.M. Smucker Company’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company agrees to allow a controversial stakeholder group focused on sexual identity issues to dictate marketing or advertising strategy (1)(2). By doing so, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The J.M. Smucker Company’s CEO signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, which includes a commitment to promote DEI through bias education training in the workplace (3). The company joined the #StopHateForProfit movement in 2020, a boycott of Facebook advertisement programs due to Facebook’s perceived weak stance on banning “hate speech” (4). J.M. Smucker signed an open letter in support of the Equality Act (5). The company opposed various state and local legislation intended to protect parental rights, girls’ sports, bathroom facilities, and gendered spaces (6).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

The J.M. Smucker Company’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company publicly advocated for controversial sex and gender ideology through local, state or federal legislation or initiatives (1)(2). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The J.M. Smucker Company is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (3)(4)(5). The company is a bronze partner of the HRC (6). The company added the ACLU to its charitable giving partners list (7). In 2020, the J.M. Smucker Company announced that it would be giving $500,000 to “organizations that advocate for inclusion” and “racial justice,” although the company did not specify which organizations it would fund (8)(9)(10).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
Rationale

The J.M. Smucker Company’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company publicly advocated for controversial sex and gender ideology through local, state or federal legislation or initiatives (1)(2). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The J.M. Smucker Company PAC gave $2,900 to the Equality PAC in July 2022 and $3,300 in 2024, and it lobbied for the Equality Act in 2021 and 2022 and the Respect for Marriage Act in 2022 (3)(4)(5).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
February 18, 2024

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